School board recognizes support personnel
Each year, Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) honors outstanding support services personnel in the areas of instructional assistant, building service worker, secretary, information technology, maintenance, central office support and food service. After nominations are received and judged, a person is selected to represent one of seven categories.
This year, Juin Lai, media instructional assistant at Henry E. Lackey was named the outstanding instructional support employee; Veistella Milstead, assistant building service worker and night manager at Milton M. Somers Middle School was named the outstanding building service employee; secretary to the principal of C. Paul Barnhart Elementary School Susan Pond was named the outstanding secretary; Trevor Gillum, a computer analyst, was named the outstanding information technology employee; carpenter George “Ted” Estevez was named the outstanding maintenance employee; student data accounting specialist George Simms was named the outstanding central office employee; and Jill Sprouse, food service manager at T.C. Martin Elementary School was named the outstanding food service employee. Staff members will be recognized at the June 14 Board of Education meeting.
Lai, a media assistant at Henry E. Lackey High School, came to Lackey in 2008 and takes initiative on a variety of tasks including brainstorming ideas for student contests and creating innovative library displays.
“Ms. Lai is, without a doubt, one of the most professional and dedicated employees I have had the honor of working with during my 27-year tenure with Charles County Public Schools,” Kathy Perriello, principal of Lackey, wrote in a nomination letter.
Building service worker
Milstead started working as a temporary building service worker for CCPS in 2008. By the following year she landed at Milton M. Somers Middle School and was named assistant building service manager at the school in 2012.
Milstead is described in nomination information as the “go to” person who is helpful to her staff, whether veterans or newcomers. She is lauded for her organizational skills and attention to detail. “Ms. Milstead gives great attention to detail because in a building this size and age, it is attention to detail which gets the job done right and well each day,” wrote Somers Principal Carrie Akins in a nomination letter.
Pond started her career with CCPS in 2006 as a temporary instructional assistant at Matthew Henson Middle School before becoming a Life Skills instructional assistant at Theodore G. Davis Middle School. She was the secretary for the special education department at the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building and has been the secretary to the principal of C. Paul Barnhart Elementary School since 2012.
“She works countless hours going above and beyond the call of duty on a daily basis,” wrote Barnhart Principal Troy Barnes in a nomination letter. “I could not be effective in my role as principal without Susan. Her leadership, work ethic, attitude, attention to detail and expertise are superior.”
Hired as a computer intern in 2004, Gillum has risen through the ranks to computer analysist III, the most senior computer analyst position. Currently, he oversees the Robert D. Stethem Educational Center, the Lifelong Learning Center, General Smallwood Middle School and Indian Head Elementary School.
“He works hard to keep the technology in all the buildings he supports functioning to enable the staff to create learning opportunities and support the mission of our school system,” Lora Bennett, information technology manager for CCPS, wrote in a nomination letter. “His sensitivity to other viewpoints helps promote an atmosphere of mutual respect. Trevor provides an example for many of the technicians in our department with his open, thoughtful, kind methods of supporting technology in the school system.”
Estevez is a carpenter with CCPS who can be counted on to get involved in any project regardless of the scope, said Steve Vance, director of maintenance, in a nomination letter. “Mr. Estevez has completed many projects that have improved our facilities,” Vance wrote. “His diligence and attention to detail truly make him a valuable asset to Charles County Public Schools.”
Central office support
Simms has been helping CCPS staff even while a student at La Plata High School. Simms, the pupil data accounting specialist, was a student assistant in La Plata’s guidance system, before he eventually landed at his current job. “When I started teaching at La Plata High School in 1981, George Simms was one of the first students that I met,” Joan Withers, acting director of secondary education, wrote in a nomination letter. “I quickly learned that teachers and counselors alike relied on George’s phenomenal memory and his accurate, detailed work.”
Starting as a food service worker in 2003 at T.C. Martin Elementary School, Sprouse was named food service manager at the school in 2008. Willing to meet with parents and families at open houses and meet-and-greets, Sprouse is always available to answer questions about the school’s breakfast and lunch programs, said Martin Principal Greg Miller in a nomination letter. “Jill is a people person; her infectious smile and laugh always make students feel comfortable, even when they are down,” Miller wrote.
The Charles County Board of Education honored outstanding support staff members at its June 14 meeting. Pictured are Jill Sprouse, food service manager at T.C. Martin Elementary School was named the outstanding food service employee, left; student data accounting specialist George Simms was named the outstanding central office employee; carpenter George “Ted” Estevez was named the outstanding maintenance employee; secretary to the principal of C. Paul Barnhart Elementary School; Susan Pond was named the outstanding secretary; Juin Lai, media instructional assistant at Henry E. Lackey was named the outstanding instructional support employee; Veistella Milstead, assistant building service worker and night manager at Milton M. Somers Middle School was named the outstanding building service employee; and Trevor Gillum, a computer analyst, was named the outstanding information technology employee.